Culture crime news 19–25 March 2018


Hot this week: An update, but still on strike.

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When Does Painting a Portrait Violate the Subject’s Rights?
(15 March 2018; Artsy)


A symbolic struggle over ancient manuscripts (Ethiopia)
(22 March 2018; The Economist)

Spotlight: Libyan archaeological sites threatened by theft and armed conflict (Libya)
(23 March 2018; Xinhua)


Brazil Only Has One Jackson Pollock on Public View, and Now It’s Being Sold (Brazil)
(23 March 2018; Hyperallergic)

Mammoth tusks, illegally taken, return to Canada, 60 years later (Canada, USA)
(22 March 2018; Ottawa Citizen)

Gov’t moving to protect cultural properties from illicit trading, theft (Jamaica)
(22 March 2018; Jamaica Observer)

Saqueo en vestigios mayas (Looting at Maya Ruins; Mexico)
(21 March 2018; Mayas Sin Fronteras)

Germany returns 3,000-year-old Olmec statues to Mexico (Mexico, Germany)
(21 March 2018; BBC News)

Biggest Fake Native American Art Conspiracy Revealed (USA)
(15 March 2018; National Geographic)

Who stole 314 items from the Carnegie Library rare books room? (USA)
(19 March 2018; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The Plight of Museum Guards in New York Museums (USA)
(20 March 2018; Hyperallergic)

$16K Painting Stolen From Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Recovered (USA)
(21 March 2018; NBC)

Cranach portrait stolen almost 80 years ago returns to heirs of Jewish banker (USA)
(21 March 2018; The Art Newspaper)

This Boston company uses augmented reality to view artwork stolen from Gardner Museum (USA)
(21 March 2018; The Boston Globe)

Lunar module replica theft still under investigation (USA)
(22 March 2018;

Science Museum of Virginia shares info about meteorites following last week’s theft (USA)
(22 March 2018; ABC United States)

This Artist Is Suing New York’s Largest Museums for Excluding Him. Now, His Day in Court Has Arrived (USA)
(22 March 2018; ArtNet News)

Anti-Trump Mural Sparks ACLU Lawsuit and Public Art Dispute in New Orleans (USA)
(23 March 2018; Hyperallergic)

‘I lied. I cheated,’ says woodworker who fooled antiques experts (USA)
(23 March 2018; The Seattle Times)

Judge Issac Parker Artifact Stolen from Ft. Smith Museum (USA)
(23 March 2018; Arkansas Matters)


Belgian Police Discover 84 Pages of Stolen Albert Uderzo Art in Forest (Belgium)
(24 March 2018; Bleeding Cool)

A French Court Rules That Facebook Was Wrong to Censor Gustave Courbet’s Provocative `Origin of the World’ (France)
(15 March 2018; ArtNet News)

Case Against the Alleged Mastermind of a Russian Avant-Garde Forgery Ring Ends With Convictions on a Lesser Charge (Germany, Russia, Israel)
(15 March 2018; ArtNet News)

American tourist damaged Pompeii mosaic by shifting tiles ‘to get a good photo’ (Italy)
(23 March 2018; The Local)

Belgian police examine claims Russian art show was full of fakes (Russia, Belgium)
(20 March 2018; The Guardian)

£10k lanterns stolen from Staffordshire school turn up in Huddersfield (UK)
(21 March 2018; Express & Star)

London’s Leading Museums Face Growing Scrutiny Over Donations Linked to Opioid Crisis (UK)
(21 March 2018; ArtNet News)

Settlement reached in saga over Chinese buyer’s unpaid Richter bill (UK, China)
(22 March 2018; The Art Newspaper)

Researcher Makes Controversial Allegation of Archaeological Fraud at Renowned Turkish Site (UK, Turkey)
(23 March 2018; Hyperallergic)


Tooth of ancient megashark stolen in Australia (Australia)
(13 March 2018; BBC News)

100 years after the battlefield looting, the Shellal mosaic remains controversial (Australia, Palestine)
(24 March 2018; The Guardian)

Auckland’s Lindauer ram-raid a mystery one year on (New Zealand)
(25 March 2018; New Zealand Herald)

South and East Asia

Social media buzz around TV series on Chinese museums that could highlight country’s 1.67 million `stolen’ objects (China)
(23 March 2018; South China Morning Post)

Mongolia to recover dinosaur fossils from South Korea, France (Mongolia, South Korea, France)
(24 March 2018; AKI Press)

Locals have mixed reaction to Bagan’s pagoda climbing ban (Myanmar)
(21 March 2018; Myanmar Times)

Taiwan samurai sword attacker jailed for 7 years (Taiwan)
(22 March 2018; Channel NewsAsia)

Ancient Ayutthaya temple damaged by drama-obsessed tourists (Thailand)
(22 March 2018; The Nation)

West and Central Asia

Biblical Tomb Raiders in Galilee Sentenced to Jail (Israel)
(22 March 2018; Christian News)

Jordan to create anti-smuggling division to protect antiquities (Jordan)
(22 March 2018; Zawya)

Syria Accuses Israel of Removing Jewish Artifacts from Damascus Temple (Syria, Israel)
(22 March 2018; Jerusalem Post)

Syria Says Saint Maron’s Tomb ‘Destroyed’ in Turkish Raids (Syria, Turkey)
(22 March 2018; Naharnet)

Ancient artifacts in Turkey’s Aydın under museum protection (Turkey)
(22 March 2018; Hurriyet Daily News)

In Other News

Internet rallies to support teen whose rock museum was burglarized (Canada)
(22 March 2018; Mother Nature Network)

Cryptocurrencies, Explained: How Blockchain Technology Could Solve 3 Big Problems Plaguing the Art Industry (General)
(22 March 2018; ArtNet News)

This Startup Is Using Blockchain to Fight Art Forgers (General)
(23 March 2018; Bloomberg)

Salvador Dalí reburied after exhumation for paternity tests (Spain)
(16 March 2018; The Guardian)

I’m a Queer Feminist Artist. Why Are My Paintings Censored on Social Media? (USA)
(21 March 2018; Hyperallergic)

How Makeup Artist Vlada Haggerty Is Fighting Image Theft Online (USA)
(23 March 2018; Popsugar)